Bing Adds More Yelp to Local Search

Bing and Yelp are teaming up to provide more local information when you search. Starting today, Bing’s U.S. users will see significantly more Yelp data included directly on Bing search results pages in the center column.

This information is now being provided using rich data markup and includes images, reviews, star ratings and more. Bing Local searches also include even more information powered by Yelp on local place pages.

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Yelp is one of the leading resources on the web for local restaurant information and reviews. Bing previously contained some public information gleaned from Yelp’s firehose.

“Bing’s approach is to partner with leading content providers and services from across the web to provide people with more relevant results from the websites they trust,” a Bing spokesperson told Search Engine Watch. “By teaming up with Yelp, Bing is able to provide searchers with richer local data – including review snippets, photos and business attributes – from one of the web’s leading local listing services.”

The increased Yelp information is being provided to Bing is clearly labeling content provided by Yelp’s data. While no details are available about the partnership, it is apparent Bing is looking to not reinvent the wheel and utilize the expertise of other sites in their respective verticals.

Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2184596/Bing-Adds-More-Yelp-to-Local-Search

Google Adds City Pages & Descriptive Terms in Local

Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2079316/Google-Adds-City-Pages-Descriptive-Terms-in-Local

Google is struggling to make its mark in the local scene in the aftermath of the failed Groupon buyout. Two brand new tactics in this effort are the city pages, which compile local “Places” and “Offers,” and descriptive terms in Google Maps results, which show what key phrases have been used most frequently to describe a local listing.

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Google has expanded beyond its Places framework by grouping all their local services into a city-based directory. Each city will get its own page, located at a site like Google.com/Portland. There are currently only a few cities (specifically: Austin, New York, Portland, and San Diego) where the pages are enabled, according to David Mihm.

The city pages include:

  • A directory of local businesses, pulling all the information from Google Places.
  • A “community” page that gives region-specific announcements from the Google Places team.
  • A “business owners” control panel that compiles resources and local advertising options for local business owners.
  • Daily offers from the Google Offers (beta) service.

For those unfamiliar with the new service, Google Offers functions much like other “daily deal” websites, but is integrated with the user’s Google account and completes transactions using Google Checkout.

Surprisingly, the city pages can be indexed and ranked in the normal search results. That could mean a very minor case of atomic warfare for Google, since this puts them in direct competition with sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. These local business groups provide review and other data to Google and have a strong history of locking down that information when Google starts stepping on toes – which they’re doing here in a big way.

Descriptive Text in Local Listings

Beyond this beta “city pages” feature, Google has extended their description of local businesses in all Maps-oriented listings (e.g., actual Google Maps searches, Google Maps for Mobile, local listings on the SERP, etc.). The new feature examines all the reviews for a given business to find the most frequently used phrases. Those phrases are then pulled directly into the search listing, right below the star rating.

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In the case of the example provided above, the descriptive terms make it clear that the location has no set menu, includes a selection of soups, and has vegan options.

What does this new feature mean for local businesses? Since there’s no real control over what words are displayed here, this means that PR management in the review sector has become even more important. This is the appropriate time to Google your own business and see what terms – good and bad – are being displayed for your company.

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